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Author Topic: "Quickie" conversion to Orthodoxy?  (Read 3938 times) Average Rating: 0
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Philoumenos
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« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2011, 08:09:20 PM »

From everything I've read, Arianism had nothing to do with it. The early, persecuted Church wanted to be very sure of whom they were letting into the Church. The catechumenate was to make sure spies and enemies were not infiltrating the Church to betray it to the authorities.

And baptismal sponsors stood surety for those entering the Church, as a witness that the candidate was legit, led a Christian life, etc.

That's what I've read various places, anyway.

Thanks for that.

In this context... perhaps it's a good idea after all.

This is a tough one.
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« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2011, 08:39:59 PM »

To make it simpler, if not in Eastern orthodox land the option left is in Error Land very Possible in death land if not Holy Communion or in Hell Land if not baptized. Why would you want to spend time there or to enlarge the time spent there thinking at what?

Thwe only danger is comming to eternal life land and then going back to death land and if this is the case you need to come back from error land to eternal life land.
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« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2011, 04:49:39 AM »

You'll find something. Frankly, I have a Catholic coworker who was looking to give something up for Lent this year. I suggested giving up TV. She flipped on me and said that was too hardcore and too much of a sacrifice. Turns out TV is her life and she never picks up a book.

Definitely! I always think looking beyond the fasting of food to other things is a good idea. The Lent before I was initiated into the EOC I gave up the internet and it was a great experience.

really?!  I attempted to do that, but I am far too weak. 

I didn't do it without any amount of failure. Roughly, I succeeded the first 1/3 of Lent, fell in the middle 1/3, and then restored the discipline in the last 1/3.
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« Reply #48 on: July 12, 2011, 07:56:59 AM »

If the Antiochians in the US are instructed to baptise after 6 months from FIRST attendance then that is not a lengthy catechumenate.

It would be a rare person who walks in the door of an Orthodox Church for the first time and asks that day to be baptised. Much more likely that they attend for a couple of months while reading materials for themselves, and then ask to become a catechumen. So there is more of a minimum period for the catechumenate of 3 months, which is the minimum I would think reasonable.

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« Reply #49 on: July 12, 2011, 08:15:41 AM »

If the Antiochians in the US are instructed to baptise after 6 months from FIRST attendance then that is not a lengthy catechumenate.
I was received after a seven-month catechumenate in an Antiochian church (8 months at the parish); however, I had more than a year's regular attendance at another church beforehand and nearly five years of less official inquiry.

Other people at my parish have been catechumen for more than a year and were only just received or have not yet been received for whatever reason (in one case, the woman wanted to wait for family reasons). It is ultimately a pastoral decision, though in my limited experience -- I have more experience with churches outside our diocese than within -- I don't know many priests who would fill the font and reach for the chrism after only six months. Perhaps this is more widespread in other areas...The U.S. is a very big place.
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« Reply #50 on: July 12, 2011, 08:36:25 AM »

What is a person supposed to learn during a whole year of catechumenate though?

We don't need to pass exams on our Faith, and we cannot experience the Faith before baptism. So what is the catechumen doing?

There is a need to have an understanding of the main points of the Faith, but is this more than would be gained by reading and agreeing with the Catechetical Lectures of St Cyril? If that was what he considered necessary and it took only the period of Lent, then what else is required?

I'm not in favour of haste, but the Christian life begins properly with baptism. I keep being reminded of the Ethiopian Eunuch.

"See, here is water. What prevents me being baptised?"
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« Reply #51 on: July 12, 2011, 10:34:59 AM »

What is a person supposed to learn during a whole year of catechumenate though?

We don't need to pass exams on our Faith, and we cannot experience the Faith before baptism. So what is the catechumen doing?

There is a need to have an understanding of the main points of the Faith, but is this more than would be gained by reading and agreeing with the Catechetical Lectures of St Cyril? If that was what he considered necessary and it took only the period of Lent, then what else is required?

I'm not in favour of haste, but the Christian life begins properly with baptism. I keep being reminded of the Ethiopian Eunuch.

"See, here is water. What prevents me being baptised?"

All good points, but there is also learning about what is involved in "living the faith," as alpo said,
Quote
Let's just say that it might have taught me how to live Orthodoxy as opposed to how to theoretically speculate about Orthodoxy.

Now you may say that we cannot live the Faith unless we are baptized, but if we attend as many services as we can during our catechumenate and experience "an Orthodox year," we receive heart knowledge, as it were, as well as head knowledge, as well as gaining an understanding of how the parish functions and developing relationships.

In any case, I'm really glad that it is an individual decision by the priest, based on his knowledge and prayer for a particular catechumen, and not a "one-size-fits-all."
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« Reply #52 on: July 12, 2011, 11:13:36 AM »

Yes, it always needs to be an individual pastoral decision. Some of my own catechumens are quite quickly (but still after some months) received into the Church, while others may indeed take a year.
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« Reply #53 on: July 12, 2011, 11:21:39 AM »

In my own case, the real reason why I feel I'm not ready is not that I don't understand Orthodox theology....its more a case of not knowing what the proper things to do and say are at certain times!

I spent a few years in the Eastern Rite Catholic church, so I was not totally in culture shock the first time I went into an Orthodox church (that really helped a lot, believe me!), but I'm never clear or what to do/say when.

In the Eastern Rite Catholic Church, it was customary during ordinary times to greet each other with Slava Isuzu Christu, with the response being, Slava na viki! But I have no idea what it is in the Orthodox churches that don't use Slavonic, for example...I only know the Greek Pascha greetings because I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding.. Grin
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« Reply #54 on: July 12, 2011, 11:54:31 AM »

I'm not in favour of haste, but the Christian life begins properly with baptism. I keep being reminded of the Ethiopian Eunuch.

"See, here is water. What prevents me being baptised?"
Don't forget that the eunuch was coming from worshipping in Jerusalem, and was studying the prophecies of Isaiah when he and Philip encountered each other. He was well prepared.

And on another point: at least here in the West, most who are received into the Church come from a different understanding of Christianity. The "unlearning" process is often harder and longer than the "learning".
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« Reply #55 on: July 12, 2011, 11:57:51 AM »

[...at least here in the West, most who are received into the Church come from a different understanding of Christianity. The "unlearning" process is often harder and longer than the "learning".

True - good point. We need to be "de-programmed!"
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« Reply #56 on: July 12, 2011, 01:53:38 PM »

If the Antiochians in the US are instructed to baptise after 6 months from FIRST attendance then that is not a lengthy catechumenate.

That is the MINIMUM ("at least six months"). And there is a difference between the length of catechumenate and how long you're attending before being made a catechumen. I have friends at an Antiochian parish where the time as a catechumen is 12-18 *months* but the length of time a person attends before they're made a catechumen differs. The Antiochian parish where I was chrismated had a priest that required a minimum of six months' attendance before you became a catechumen. I was chrismated six months longer.

My current OCA parish makes folks catechumens a bit sooner, usually after several months of regular attendance and regular catechesis. The actual catechesis program is about nine months, allowing for gaps due to holidays, Holy Week/Pascha, etc.

And if you stop attending/classes due to being unsure, crisis of faith, etc., you might pick up where you left off with the classes, but you'll be a catechumen longer than you would have originally been, since obviously there are issues that need to be dealt with.

While these are general guidelines, in some cases people go longer before chrismation. Some just aren't sure once finishing their formal catechesis is done.
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« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2011, 06:24:06 PM »

I was watching a chrismation on Youtube, that took place in Russia. Are there any points in an American Orthodox chrismation where you kneel?
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« Reply #58 on: July 12, 2011, 07:00:42 PM »

The base of faith is this:

1.You are not baptized probably destination Hell
2.You don't take Holy Communion, you probably don't have life in yourself.
3.You don't confess your sins you have to find another way to erase them . Confession is the way let by God to erase sin.

Believe it or not, even after tens of years I do not know always what to respond at Holy Liturgy. Somehow I don't feel like I am less orthodox because of this or am I? The idea is that it did not occur to me that is important to go deep into the meaning of Holy Liturgy. Now that you did bring up this point you started to make me think.
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« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2011, 07:03:41 PM »

I was watching a chrismation on Youtube, that took place in Russia. Are there any points in an American Orthodox chrismation where you kneel?

Yes, when you receive absolution for the confession you did before chrismation (usually sometime that week).
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« Reply #60 on: July 12, 2011, 07:32:47 PM »

I was watching a chrismation on Youtube, that took place in Russia. Are there any points in an American Orthodox chrismation where you kneel?

Yes, when you receive absolution for the confession you did before chrismation (usually sometime that week).

What does a person do when they have a knee injury that prevents them from being able to kneel?
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« Reply #61 on: July 12, 2011, 07:50:10 PM »

I was watching a chrismation on Youtube, that took place in Russia. Are there any points in an American Orthodox chrismation where you kneel?

Yes, when you receive absolution for the confession you did before chrismation (usually sometime that week).

What does a person do when they have a knee injury that prevents them from being able to kneel?

As in: It's impossible for you to kneel?

Or it really hurts to kneel?
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« Reply #62 on: July 12, 2011, 08:17:01 PM »

I was watching a chrismation on Youtube, that took place in Russia. Are there any points in an American Orthodox chrismation where you kneel?

Yes, when you receive absolution for the confession you did before chrismation (usually sometime that week).

What does a person do when they have a knee injury that prevents them from being able to kneel?

As in: It's impossible for you to kneel?

Or it really hurts to kneel?

It is extremely painful to kneel, and if I do, I can't get up without a lot of assistance. Its kind of embarassing, and I'd hate to have to deal with that in front of a lot of people.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #63 on: July 12, 2011, 08:38:14 PM »

I was watching a chrismation on Youtube, that took place in Russia. Are there any points in an American Orthodox chrismation where you kneel?

Yes, when you receive absolution for the confession you did before chrismation (usually sometime that week).

What does a person do when they have a knee injury that prevents them from being able to kneel?

As in: It's impossible for you to kneel?

Or it really hurts to kneel?

It is extremely painful to kneel, and if I do, I can't get up without a lot of assistance. Its kind of embarassing, and I'd hate to have to deal with that in front of a lot of people.  Embarrassed

All the better and glory to God!

I'd do it if I was you.

But - I'm not exactly normal either am I?
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« Reply #64 on: July 12, 2011, 08:55:03 PM »

If you wait until you have a firm grasp of Orthodoxy before you enter the Church then you never will. Learning, especially in terms of theology, is a life long process. Since entering the Roman Catholic Church in 2007, I know way way more about RC theology than I did then, even though I went through the classes. However, I know that, even though I know much more than I did then, I still have just barely scratched the surface and really don't know much at all. So my advice would be that the best way to familiarize yourself and grow in the Orthodox faith would be to dive right in to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #65 on: July 12, 2011, 09:01:25 PM »

Actually Philoumenos, you have more power than you think
See, if power of all humanity is 1, including high power figures, the power of smallest sick angel is 1 billion. So if anybody from humanity will be deceived and fight along sick angel their forces are in the maybe in 10 with n zeros, but this is a finite number.

So if you pray to God , God has infinite power and nobody can stand against the decision of God. Romania had Elder arsenie Boca and he prayed for Romania and sick angel came and said, you defeated me and God will not let me draw Romania into Serbian war and actually if we think because of the prayer, the power of the Elder was above any high power figure even higher than sick angel. The Elder did overwrite the decision taken in any cabinet you want.
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« Reply #66 on: July 12, 2011, 09:23:10 PM »

Actually Philoumenos, you have more power than you think
See, if power of all humanity is 1, including high power figures, the power of smallest sick angel is 1 billion. So if anybody from humanity will be deceived and fight along sick angel their forces are in the maybe in 10 with n zeros, but this is a finite number.

So if you pray to God , God has infinite power and nobody can stand against the decision of God. Romania had Elder arsenie Boca and he prayed for Romania and sick angel came and said, you defeated me and God will not let me draw Romania into Serbian war and actually if we think because of the prayer, the power of the Elder was above any high power figure even higher than sick angel. The Elder did overwrite the decision taken in any cabinet you want.

Thanks pasadi97,

Are you Romanian?
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« Reply #67 on: July 12, 2011, 10:52:09 PM »

You're welcome. Yes I am from Romania.

So imagine for Greece how would YOU like to be, economically, demographically, faith wise and such and also for Earth and pray for that and it will be like you're praying. Not that you would imagine something bad for someone but everything good is like an arrow that goes to the target and anything bad is like a bird that goes from tree to tree and can come back.
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« Reply #68 on: July 12, 2011, 11:35:19 PM »

I do not think a long catechumenate is necessary at all. It is not an academic course that we need to pass.

How can a person expect to grow spiritually and be spiritually mature enough to be baptised when they are not baptised? Baptism is a gift not a reward.

The catechumenate is to allow a person to consider the cost of Orthodox discipleship, and to have a firm enough knowledge of the Faith so that they can honestly express their commitment to it.

If a person is already a non-Orthodox believer with commitment, and has been studying Orthodoxy, then what matters is that they commit to the journey, not try to travel it outside the experience of the sacraments and God's grace.

What does St Justin Martyr say..

As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly . . . are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated.

This does not require a long catechumenate unless the person has reservations about some Orthodox doctrine or practice.

Father I agree with you.  I don't see in the early Church anything about a waiting period to become a Christian.  The Apostles shared the Gospel to people and those who believed were baptized.  If a Christian backslides later, or becomes an apostate that is something that God will deal with.

A reasonable catachumenate makes sense, but requiring someone to prove their sincerity over a period of time is not in keeping with the Gospel.
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« Reply #69 on: July 12, 2011, 11:59:08 PM »

I was watching a chrismation on Youtube, that took place in Russia. Are there any points in an American Orthodox chrismation where you kneel?

Yes, when you receive absolution for the confession you did before chrismation (usually sometime that week).

What does a person do when they have a knee injury that prevents them from being able to kneel?

As in: It's impossible for you to kneel?

Or it really hurts to kneel?

It is extremely painful to kneel, and if I do, I can't get up without a lot of assistance. Its kind of embarassing, and I'd hate to have to deal with that in front of a lot of people.  Embarrassed

All the better and glory to God!

I'd do it if I was you.

But - I'm not exactly normal either am I?


No,you're not....but I LOVE it!  Grin
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« Reply #70 on: December 11, 2012, 11:38:17 AM »

I reckon that by now you must have been Chrismated? I just wanted to share with you that I too was a catechumen for a very short period of time (1 month or less). I also came from RC background and my priest understood this well because he too is a convert from RC. Trust in your priest! If he thinks you're ready is because you are. In my case, I think my priest knew I needed to be one with Jesus Christ more than anything else. I don't regret it, my life has changed since the very moment I joined the church.

I once read that when you speak with your priest you must let them do much of the talking because they pray that the Holy Spirit guide them through the conversation, and one must be respectful of this and let the Holy Spirit work. It most be the same when they decide to Chrismate catechumens  laugh
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« Reply #71 on: December 12, 2012, 01:21:32 PM »

I reckon that by now you must have been Chrismated? I just wanted to share with you that I too was a catechumen for a very short period of time (1 month or less). I also came from RC background and my priest understood this well because he too is a convert from RC. Trust in your priest! If he thinks you're ready is because you are. In my case, I think my priest knew I needed to be one with Jesus Christ more than anything else. I don't regret it, my life has changed since the very moment I joined the church.

I once read that when you speak with your priest you must let them do much of the talking because they pray that the Holy Spirit guide them through the conversation, and one must be respectful of this and let the Holy Spirit work. It most be the same when they decide to Chrismate catechumens  laugh
Don't hold your breath waiting for an answer. She hasn't been active on the site for more than a year.
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« Reply #72 on: December 12, 2012, 03:21:44 PM »

^ I haven't spoken with her in sometime, but her Facebook page indicates she is still deciding between traditionalist Orthodoxy and sedevacantist Catholicism.
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